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Anthropologie vs. Antique


I’m always drooling over Anthropologie’s feminine-and-antiquey-cool array of goods, from shirts to sofas. I’m pretty sure every female my age has a crush on that store, whether or not it exists in their city/state/universe. The closest one to us is in NYC, a 5+ hour drive, but the online shop is always open for window shopping. I visit the site often because they’re good at enticing me with pretty e-mail blasts and even prettier catalogs. As I browse, sad little sighs escape every so often over the fact that the prices are way out of our league.

But you know what makes me feel better? Seeing something like their Amelie couch, which sells for $2,898.00 plus $250.00 shipping and isn’t nearly as cool as our 1890’s parlor settee. The settee we payed $175 for at the Brimfield Antique Show last summer. Ours has much lovelier curves, a great patina, and all those buttons… it makes the Amelie pale in comparison.

See for yourselves. Here’s the $2,898.00 Amelie Couch:

Amelie Couch

And here’s our $175.00 version:

Victorian Parlor Settee, Antique

Even if we decided to upholster it with some fancy-schmancy fabric, it still wouldn’t cost us nearly as much as Anthropologie’s couch. And as an antique, it will continue to grow in value (unless one of the dogs decides to ruin it.) Every time I look at it, I remember how excited I was to find out we could actually afford it. After a full day of walking from tent to tent at Brimfield (an overwhelming experience, if you’ve never been), we had finally found something that was perfect for us and we were totally thrilled.

We decided a few years ago that we’d buy antique vs. reproduction furniture whenever we could because the prices tend to be comparable, and the real thing is always nicer looking. So… for everyone out there who can’t afford a $2,000 upholstered chair, don’t fret. Just hit the festivals and flea markets and keep your eyes peeled. This year’s fall show at Brimfield is September 4-9, and if you’ve never been I highly recommend it.

That said, if you absolutely have to have an Anthropologie piece, they’re 25% off right now ;)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 08.31.07:

Me, too – to everything you just said! I love to drool over the Anthropologie website and occasionally allow myself to buy something from the clearance section. I’m particularly tempted by their curtains, since they sell curtains long enough to actually cover our windows. Their furniture is tempting, especially the ones with the wild patterns, but you’re right – the real thing looks way better!

Beth had this to say on 08.31.07:

The Anthropologie one totally looks like a mouth. You’d feel like your couch was swallowing you, which might be unpleasant.

And yes, upholstery is expensive, but based on our experience, you’re right in that it’s still cheaper to buy old and update.

I do love a good bargain. It’s such a high.

Heather Muschette had this to say on 03.22.10:

Love these chairs

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